THE newly refurbished restaurant at Dobbies Garden Centre in Haresfield is to be unveiled today.

This follows updated guidance from the UK Government that restaurants may reopen.

Dobbies already reopened its Haresfield garden centre in May, with strict social distancing measures in operation.

In the next phase of easing restrictions, customers will be able to take a first look at the new 228 cover restaurant.

Customers will be able to enjoy cakes, pastries and scones, as well as a host of new additions to the menu, including; pea and mint risotto, a roast dinner served in a giant Yorkshire pudding and even a mac and cheese toastie.

The menu will also include a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as a dedicated kids’ menu with lower salt and sugar options.

Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “Following the successful re-opening of our Haresfield garden centre on 13 May, we are well-placed to restart our restaurant operations.

“We’re thrilled to be able to finally welcome customers to our brand-new restaurant and coffee shop at Haresfield.”

The safety of team members and customers remains Dobbies’ number one priority, and a number of additional social distancing measures have been put in place for opening all three restaurants.

There will be a dedicated 'safety champion' who will be solely responsible for ensuring all measures are being followed. The safety champion will be on hand to answer any questions and ensure all team members and customers feel safe at all times. In line with Government guidance, team members will be required to collect contact information from customers for NHS Test and Trace.

Tables and chairs have been laid out in the restaurant to ensure there is a safe space between diners. Self-service coffee machines will not be in use, but baristas will be on hand to serve hot drinks.

Dobbies will also be continuing with rigorous hygiene routines, with all trays and tables sanitised after use.

Dobbies continues to follow Government guidelines across the stores, with a limited number of customers permitted at one time. A queuing system remains in operation outside the stores, with one metre markers in place to help maintain social distancing. Hand sanitising and trolley cleaning stations are available at the store entrances.

Protective screens remain installed at tills and customers are asked to pay with card or contactless. Appropriate PPE has been provided for team members who are also receiving training and regular briefings on how to keep themselves and customers safe, with rigorous hygiene routines continuing throughout the stores.